Area runners finish well in major event

Tim StevensDecember 13, 2009 

Ravenscroft freshman Wesley Frazier finished 10th on Saturday in the girls race at the 31st annual Foot Locker Cross Country Championships in San Diego. Northern Durham junior Blake Williams was 20th in the boys race.

The event attracts many of the nation's top high school runners, and the strong finishes thrilled the two area runners.

"I didn't know what to expect," Frazier said by telephone minutes after the race. "I'm pretty pleased, pretty happy."

Frazier, who won the N.C. Independent School Athletic Association 3-A cross country title, ran a time of 17:45 on the demanding course. Megan Goethals of Rochester, Mich., won in 17:07.

"I ran with the front pack for about the first mile and a half," Frazier said. "I fell back a little and just tried to maintain my place."

Williams had to slog his way to his 15:45 finish. A deluge fell between the girls and boys races and continued throughout the boys race on a 62-degree day.

"By the time the introductions were finished, we were as wet as we could be," Williams said by phone. "It was really a little bit cool then, but I tried to relax and tell myself that at least it wasn't too hot. I told myself it would be fun to go out and play in the mud."

The top-20 finish will be a big confidence boost.

"Next year, I can train that much harder knowing that I finished among the top 20 in the country," he said.

Sophomore Lukas Verzbicas of Orland Hills, Ill., won in 15:08. Jake Hurysz of Eastern Alamance was sixth with a 15:32.

Stricker, Kelly lead Shootout

Steve Stricker and Jerry Kelly fell out of the lead but rebounded to avoid a four-way tie at the end of the Shark Shootout's second round. Stricker birdied No. 18 to finish a run of five birdies in six holes that got the team to 13-under 131 at Tiburon Golf Club at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort in Naples, Fla.

Dubai Ladies Masters: At Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Michelle Wie's charge fell short, and In-Kyung Kim of South Korea took a three-shot victory at the season-ending event for her first European Tour title. Wie shot a 7-under 65, but 13th-ranked Kim produced a 4-under 68 that left her at 18-under 270. Maria Hjorth of Sweden was third at 274 after a 68.

Phelps swims to two wins

Michael Phelps won the 400 individual medley and the 100 backstroke Saturday at the North Baltimore Aquatic Center's Christmas Meet held at the U.S. Naval Academy's Lejuene Hall in Annapolis. He won the 200 free and 100 butterfly on Friday.

Baseball: Former Detroit Tigers reliever Brandon Lyon signed a $15 million, three-year contract with the Houston Astros.

Boxing: Vitali Klitschko, 38, of Ukraine retained his WBC heavyweight title, winning a unanimous decision over American Kevin Johnson, 30, at Bern, Switzerland. Klitschko is 39-2, Johnson 22-1-1.

Auto racing: German daily Bild said seven-time Formula One champion Michael Schumacher will end his retirement next week to drive for Mercedes.

The Associated Press

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